Sunday, October 31, 2010

William Watrous Crane, Jr. (1830-1883): Oakland Mayor, Author

Oakland Mayor William Crane, Jr. (photo by Michael Colbruno)

Plot 14A, Lot 224

William Watrous Crane, Jr. was born in New York City on September 14, 1830 to parents of Irish and Scottish decent. He was educated in New York, including a stint at Columbia University. He was admitted to the New York Bar in 1853 and practiced law for a year before heading to San Francisco via the Panama route.

In San Francisco he practiced with the law firm of Doyle, Boyd & Barber, then alone for a time and afterward as a member of the firm of Crane & Boyd. In 1856, he married the former Hannah Austin. In 1862, the Cranes moved to Oakland and he got involved in politics. He was elected as a State Senator from Alameda County and in 1867 was elected as Mayor of Oakland and served from March 1867-November 1867. He didn’t complete his term as Mayor due to bad health and was succeeded by Samuel Merritt. He was offered the Republican nomination for Governor on more than one occasion, but declined due to his health.

In an effort to improve his health, he took two trips to Europe with his wife. He ended up serving as a bank director as well as the president of the Oakland Gas and Light Company. He was also published as a poet and essayist and was donor to the prestigious journal The Overland Monthly. He was the author of Politics: An Introduction to the Study of Comparative Constitutional Law.

Crane died at his Oakland residence at 10th & Market St. on July 31, 1883.

No comments: